Cove athletes earn medals at TAAF State Track meet
By TJ MAXWELL
COLLEGE STATION – Copperas Cove track standouts Kyle Stifflemire and Kyra Gaston had another strong showing to highlight their summer track season. Their latest accomplishments came with medal finishes at the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Games of Texas last weekend in College Station.
Stifflemire cleared 15 feet, 6 inches on his second attempt to claim the silver medal in the 18-and-under boys’ pole vault on Friday.
Luke Williams of Team Troy cleared 16 feet on his third and final attempt to best Stifflemire. Unattached athlete Cameron Johnson finished third with a vault of 15 feet.
Gaston brought home two medals in the high jump and triple jump.
She finished just 5 ½ inches out of first place in the 14-and-under triple jump finals with a leap of 34 feet, 7 inches. Sophia Day of the IBTT Blazers cleared 35 feet, ½ inch to claim the gold. Kaylah Braxton of the City of Allen finished third with a leap of 34 feet, 6 ¾ inches.
Gaston added another podium finish with a bronze medal in the high jump. She cleared the 4 feet, 6 inch mark on her first attempt to force a three-way tie for third with Kiyonna Oliver of the IBTT Blazers and Malyna Morales of Holmes Speed. Makynzie Forte of the IBTT Blazers finished first with a 5 feet even jump and Larissa Rodriquez of the City of Edinburg also cleared 5 feet but lost the gold in a jump off.
Next up for Stifflemire and Gaston is the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games in Des Moines, IA. where they will join fellow Covite Kellen Avritt. Avritt will compete in the Junior Olympics 14-and-under boys’ pole vault where he comes in with the fourth-best leap of 14 feet even. Montana Welch of Elgin comes in with the top vault of 14 feet, 6 inches.
Stifflemire also enters the meet with one of the top marks. His vault of 15 feet at the Junior Olympic qualifiers puts him in a five-way tie for third-best. Nathan McFail of Sedalia, MO and Zachary Davis of Aledo enter with the top vaults of 15 feet, 6 inches.
Gaston enters the Junior Olympics with the 11th-best leap of 33 feet, 10 inches in the triple jump. Jaiah Hopf of Brown Deer, WI comes in with the top mark of 37 feet, 1 inch.